Tuesday, February 16, 2016


It's Twin Tuesday, and we have a decorative dish and a lime.  Check out the twin on Lee's blog, as usual.  It's a Tuesday ritual.

My twinned objects are resting atop two books on my reading list.  As you might know, I'm seeking legitimacy as a reader. I learn about a lot of books, and I choose 50 or 60 to read each year.  I feel like I'm definitely a reader, if you look at the data.

I'm also seeking legitimacy as a writer.  I learn about writing and practice it.  I've got a couple of fiction projects on the go, and I started an essay.  Writers write, I tell myself.  Being a "real writer" isn't really a thing.  I know this rationally, but I still feel like a fake writer.  Will I be a real writer if I publish an essay in an obscure online literary magazine?  I might.

I seem to be the kind of person who needs a concrete landmark or accomplishment to feel "real" about something.  I haven't felt the need to defend my legitimacy as a runner, for example, ever since I ran the Boston Marathon.  The Boston Marathon is for "real runners."  But would I ever tell someone who hadn't run Boston or a marathon or a 10k that they aren't a real runner?  I would never say that or even think that about someone else.

I was talking with a pal about our reading goals.  He wants to read 24 books this year.  I'd say he's a real reader with that kind of goal.  It's not enough for me, of course.  I've got to read 52BooksPlus, but I celebrate his 24.  My boss happened upon us and listened a little. Then she said,  "You two are so funny. Why can't you just say, 'I'm going to read more,'?"

"I can't," I say.  "It's got to be quantifiable.  It's got to be 52 books."

She shook her head.  I'm shaking my head.  I'd like to abandon the quest for arbitrary legitimacy, but I don't think it's in my nature.  I think I need to accept it instead.

1 comment:

LH said...

I always like the way you set specific goals.